Archive for February, 2022

News and Analysis 2/26/22

Saturday, February 26th, 2022

Many “who are making quite strong statements about [Russia’a occupation of the Ukraine]  … don’t seem to be saying the same things about another occupation, that has been going on for fifty years in the Golan Heights”:

“The Shin Bet’s former No. 3 thinks it’s time for Israel to rethink its modus operandi”:

Lifting sanctions on Iran could offset the effects of Russia’s Ukraine invasion on oil prices:

Netanyahu boasted of convincing Trump to abandon the 2015 deal, but the outcome of that mistake may leave Israel in a much worse position:

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine evokes the precedent of Chechnya where “Russian troops brutally quelled an Islamic insurgency in Chechnya in two wars. They besieged and devastated the Chechen capital of Grozny“:

“Nadine S. Bahour ’22 … said she does not oppose Harvard students visiting the region but rather the way the trip ‘sells itself to be a balanced perspective'”:

“[A]s younger generations are paying more attention to questions of racism in America, … people recognise that there can’t be this exception for Israel” — Barry Trachtenberg, a historian and professor of Jewish history:

News and Analysis 2/23/22

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2022

“Israel hones invasive surveillance technology on Palestinians before it is exported abroad.” Says one victim, “No one wants to come here. The kids don’t play outside. We’re constantly watched”:

Syria is also part of Russia’s sphere of interest: …

… but if “Putin has become a model for a class of world leaders” for whom “land grabs, military threats, destabilisation, disinformation, and assassinating one’s opponents are the game’s new rules,” is he not just following the model set by Israel?

UK Lawyers for Israel cancel the director of UK’s Whitworth art gallery:

An agreement “between the two countries’ free trade zone authorities” was among those signed:

Modesty, identity, empowerment, personal choice were among the reasons women gave for wearing hijab in sports. Promoting terrorism was not one of them:

“Young Muslim women are out on the streets protesting for their rights. And you’re still telling me that [these] women can’t think for themselves?” — a 27-year-old from Bangalore:

What may have begun “as a campaign where families of those whose children have been taken into custody have felt unjustly treated and wanted to criticise social services” seems to have turned into “a hate campaign against Sweden and Swedish society”:

“Days after the charred body of a Muslim youth was found in Samastipur district of Bihar, a video has emerged of him being beaten up brutally by a group, asking if he ‘ate beef'”:

“Opponents of the legislation believe it will introduce significant new restrictions on online freedoms in Iran while also stifling competition and harbouring corruption with its myriad new state permits and funding”:

News and Analysis 2/21/22

Monday, February 21st, 2022

It’s time for those who expected more from Joe Biden than from Donald Trump to admit that it’s not going to happen:

The Iranian parliament’s advice to its executive branch regarding dealing with the U.S.  Ronald Reagan’s advice regarding the Soviet Union: Trust, but verify …

… while Israel continues to pressure the American government …

… but Iran says, despite “significant progress,” that “”nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” and that the “remaining issues are the hardest”:

After Selaedin Maksut explained Islam to Ed Durr, the then N.J. state-senator elect not only apologized for his insulting tweet, but became an ally in the fight for state recognition of Islam’s two major holidays:

“If Narendra Modi’s ‘new India’ had not become a place in which Muslims have been increasingly treated as lesser citizens than Hindus, we might today have been able to see clearly the difference between Islam and political Islam”:

While it is true “that Israeli repackaging of their food is part of a broader effort to minimise if not erase Palestinian national identity,” it is also true “that Palestinians and Mizrahim share similar culinary traditions“:

News and Analysis 2/18/22

Friday, February 18th, 2022

A Palestinian woman objects to an Israeli court ruling that penetration of sexual organs and anus did not constitute rape and sodomy:

Descriptions of the phasing of the proposed Iran deal show the West is not serious about getting Iran on board:

Israel’s ambassador to the U.N. says holding Israel to international standards of the conduct of war is “unfairly biased”:

“Ridgefield educators will learn about Muslim … religious holidays, misconceptions about Islam and the meaning of commonly used terms … four months after a teacher was accused” of responding “we don’t negotiate with terrorists” to student requesting a homework extension:

BJP thinks that forcing Muslim girls to choose between modesty and school they can blame Islam for Muslim women’s educational plight. Imagine an anti-Christian Congress insisting American girls who want an education have to go to school topless:

News and Analysis 2/14/22

Monday, February 14th, 2022

The president and founder of the  Military Religious Freedom Foundation says that Biden’s pick for the Navy’s new Deputy Chief of Chaplains “represents the absolute wretched epitome of sectarian, fundamentalist Christian nationalism in our U.S. military”:

Israel’s denial that it practices apartheid flies not only in the face of its policies, but also to the fact that  to this day it “has not ratified the apartheid convention”:

The original nuclear deal was possible because Iran and the the U.S. respected each other’s red lines (that Iran accept U.N. inspectors and the U.S. accept Iranian medical grade development). This time the U.S. balks at “guarantees the US will not renege on the accord again”:

“Israel has evicted the Bedouin from the Negev village of Al-Arakib dozens of times, but they keep coming back. Israeli forces then demolish their homes again”:

“[S]tories critical of the Indian government have seemingly disappeared from digital archives”:

An Israeli Jew saw his own dreams of peacemaking shot down as well when a soldier made an example to other protestors by shooting his unarmed Arab Israeli friend in the back:

“The election [in Uttar Pradesh] in particular illustrates the majoritarian nationalism that is driving widespread and lethal aggression against Muslims across the country”:

It is standard operating procedure for Israel to destroying houses owned by suspects:

News and Analysis 2/12/22

Saturday, February 12th, 2022

The brutality of Greenwashing. “To this day, Israeli authorities refuse to recognize Bedouin deeds, instead claiming the forestation efforts are taking place on ‘state-owned’ land”:

“Gold is a tradition. It grows out of a deep-seated distrust of governments and currencies and has been handed down from generation to generation” — a Turkish citizen:

A former Israeli AG agrees with Amnesty:

The church restoration is part of Hamas’s Intiqal 2030 program that “aims to rehabilitate heritage sites in the Gaza Strip,” also including the Saint Hilarion Monastery (Tell Um Amer):

“Wherever the Anti-Conversion law, ironically officially called Freedom of Religion Act, was passed, it became a justification for the persecution of the minorities and other marginalized identities”:

“Israel is using the PA to suppress the resistance in Jenin, and it is aimed to cause internal strife and bloodshed, and is also aimed at delegitimising the PA in the eyes of its people” — an Islamic Jihad figure in Jenin:

“[T]hree key areas where the MENA region will be affected by a large-scale confrontation between Russia and Ukraine [are] energy, … agriculture, …  and refugees“:

Reinstated in her position at a British university, this Palestinian refugee she “continues to face racist and hateful messages from Zionist media and trolls”:

“Last year a draft law on ‘Protection, Dignity and Security of Women against Violence‘ was introduced to parliament,” but it “does not provide a clear definition of domestic violence”:

When Racism Quashes Religious Freedom

Friday, February 11th, 2022

[In her book “The Racial Muslim: When Racism Quashes Religious Freedom,” Sahar Aziz applies critical race theory to ask how it is that a country that privileges religious freedom has an open rabid Islamophobia. This is my summary of her ideas presented at an online book forum organized by the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding on February 9, 2022.]

There is an interconnectedness of race and religion in American identity. Religious freedom has always been racially constrained. Rather than act independently, race and religion are elements in an interconnected hierarchy. What is often perceived as religious bigotry is actually racism. Whiteness, like blackness, is a social construction and is no longer understood as it was 250 years ago. It was Anglo-Saxon protestants who enjoyed normative presumptions (such as the presumption of innocence).  Italian and Irish Catholic immigrants, like Eastern European Jewish immigrants, were legally considered white, but were not perceived as socially equal. What we today would call their national origin impeded their status, but it was racial quality in that it was understood as an innate inferiority. There has been a shift in how their identity is seen. They are seen now as whites with a different ethnicity. Today, if they successfully assimilate, cease speaking their ancestral language, and move into prosperous neighborhoods, their national origin is seen as endearing rather than threatening. They have gained agency. The line of inclusion has been expanded, but it is still restricted to Europeans.

In the past it was argued that Catholics could never be loyal Americans because their primary loyalty must always be to the Pope, and the same held for Jews whose primary loyalty must always be to the Jewish people. The Cold War and the Holocaust forced much of the change in the perception of Catholics and Jews. Protestants realized that Catholics were a natural ally against the “Godless Communists.” The immigration quotas that were specifically intended to exclude southern and eastern Europeans and laws meant to exclude Asians and Africans were dropped in the 1965 immigration reform. Yet, a series of key events such as the creation of Israel, the oil embargo, the 9/11 attacks, etc., have racialized Muslim identity. Each event was accompanied by an influx of media images that erased the existence of Arab Christians and Jews, homogenizing Muslims as an undemocratic misogynistic racialized other.

Often scholars discussing racialization introduce a distinction between “Good Muslims” and “Bad Muslims.” Coercive assimilation is the tax Muslims must pay to avoid being classified as bad. The subgroup most harmed by racialization is the pious, practicing, politically dissident Muslim. For example a bearded man or hijabi woman who oppose the occupation of Iraq, or who think America is pro-Israeli to the point of ignoring the rights of Palestinians, or who are opposed to American alliances with Middle East dictators, are the first to be targets of surveillance, sting operations, screening at airports, etc. The public sees this and believes it is permissible to suspect and discriminate against such people on the grounds that they form the threat to our religious freedom. Polls show Americans have unfavorable views of Muslims ranging from 50 to 70%. These Americans do not want for Muslims what they want for themselves because they see them as an inferior race. For a long time Mormons were call “Muhammadan Turks” because of their practice of polygyny despite the fact that most of them were Anglo-Saxon.

This hostility starts with the religious dissident, but it comes to include all the pious and the secular dissidents as well. Only the apolitical, nonpracticing, assimilated Muslim is accepted, and the former Muslim becomes politically weaponized, paid (well) to go on book tours to validate the perception that any religious Muslim is not a good person.

Muslims in America are the most diverse group by almost any standard (ethnically, racially, immigration status, etc.). About one-third of American Muslims are African-American. Probably 40% of the slaves brought here were Muslims. If caught practicing their religion they would be beaten. Initially forbidden to practice any religion, they were eventual forced to become Protestants. With the closing down of the slave trade there were fewer slaves knowledgeable in the religion of Islam to teach new generations. In the twentieth century Drew Ali instituted the Moorish Science Church, and the Nation of Islam was established, both tying Black nationalism with some version of Islam. After the death of Elijah Muhammad, his son Warith Deen Mohamed brought the group into Sunni Islam, with Louis Farrakhan splitting off to try maintain the Nation of Islam as it had been.

The fear of the “Great Replacement” is not new. A hundred years ago, in the era of eugenics, it was expressed as the fear of the “Mongrelization” of the nation by the White Supremacists of that era in response to immigration at that time. (In the U.S. Immigration Commission’s 1911 “Dictionary of Races” there were 42 races of which 36 were from Europe.) To stem the increasing racial polarization, we must find a way to ameliorate the existing segregation.

The problem with the “color-blind narrative” perpetuated by some conservatives is that it is only superficially color-blind in a system in which various proxies for overt racism serve the same purpose of keeping some groups down. It allows racists to pretend that the system is a meritocracy in which the reason some groups are advantaged over others is because of an inferred inherent superiority.

Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Ph.D.
Minaret of Freedom Institute

News and Analysis 2/9/22

Wednesday, February 9th, 2022

“Saied announced over the weekend he was dissolving the Supreme Judicial Council, one of the few remaining state bodies still able to act independently of him”:

Katherine Harvey’s new book explains how by following itys perceptions rather than reality Saudi Arabia for years worked against its own interests in Iraq and placed a wedge between itself and the U.S.:

“Israel’s wrath at Amnesty for daring to release its study reflects that it now sees the … writing on the wall … Israel’s South Africa moment is nearing”:

“Republicans had previously sought to block the 2015 deal, reached under former President Barack Obama, with a resolution, however, Democrats used a mechanism known as the filibuster to block its passage”:

“Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai has urged Indian leaders to ‘stop the marginalization of Muslim women'”:

“Don’t buy products laced with hate, Sabra funds a racist state.” Now how about disinvestment of Harvard’s enormous endowment?

News and Analysis 2/7/22

Monday, February 7th, 2022

Iran accuses the monarchist of being behind a 2008 mosque bombing. State TV alleges he “confessed to having a relationship with both the FBI and the CIA”:

There is one thing on which Republicans and Democrats in Congress can still agree, to “ignore or excuse Israel’s occupation & system of oppression”:

“He is in jail because he is a Muslim. I don’t think any part of his speech is seditious. There is no free speech in India especially if you are a Muslim,” — Aakar Patel, former head of Amnesty International in India:

On a 160-143 French legislators say traditionalist Muslim women can’t compete in sports because they’re too ignorant and backwards to dress themselves:

“The Mossad’s influence in many parts of the country is so vast that every member of the Iranian leadership should be worried for their lives, for their safety” — Ali Yunesi, a former Iranian intelligence minister:

The principal “declared a holiday and told the students to disperse” after Hindu girls in different in yellow and in blue shawls respectively began chanting slogans for and against the BJP suppression of traditional Muslim attire:

“The Chinese side reiterated that the Kashmir issue was a dispute left from history, and should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements”:

“The report has ignored the objections filed by the National Conference on December 31 last year rejecting the proposal to increase six Assembly seats in the Jammu region as against just one in the Kashmir division”:

News and Analysis 2/4/22

Friday, February 4th, 2022

Under Biden, those who were denied entry during the ban have to apply all over again, even if they were previously approved for admission, even “diversity visa lottery winners [who] had gone to great financial risks, including quitting jobs and going into debt, in order to apply” …

… and “six members of the proposed 35-person Iran delegation did not receive visas from the U.S. State Department” to attend a wreswtling competition in Texas:

If standing up for persecuted Muslim minorities in China were an Olympic competition, Muslim-majority states “wouldn’t make the podium at all”:

“Iraqi Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr condemned the attack …, saying some ‘terrorist outlaws’ have dragged Iraq into a ‘dangerous regional war’ by targeting a Gulf state.” He favors ending both the Yemen war and normalization of ties with Israel, but denounced violent means:

“The International Vishwa Hindu Parishad has threatened that if any “private luxury bus operator halts his bus on a dhaba run by Muslims would have to face the consequences”:

The crackdown on Kashmiri journalists continues with the arrest of the winner of the 2021 “Human Rights Press Award”:

By her focus on indigenous European Muslims, Greble shows Muslim leadership to be “a defining entity that shaped the European citizenship project by refashioning both imperial secular norms, as well as Islamic jurisprudential rulings to suit their unique context”:

Having already extended his four-year term to 17 years, thge 84-year-old “Abbas is planning to use the PLO’s upcoming Central Council meeting to expand the lifespan of his illegitimate regime”:

The Karnataka Opposition leader says, “The college principal standing near the gate in Udupi and denying entry to girls was an inhuman act”:

“Two high school students were wounded by bullet shrapnel after PA officer in plainclothes shot at their sit-in”: